Last year, Gabriel had his first seizure ever during the super bowl. I will never forget it. Worst day of my day. He was standing by his easel with a marker in his hand, he stood up said “mama” in an alarming tone, he fell down, tried to stand up again with a scared look his eyes, fell down again and started convulsing. I freaked out….grabbed the phone and while dialing 911, rocked Gabriel and tried to get his attention. Thank God for 911 dispatcher…who was calm and reassuring. He talked me through the safety procedures for caring for someone with a seizure. Lay him on his side, made sure he is breathing, let him fall asleep. I clearly remember feeling like I need to keep him awake. The fire engine and ambulance arrived. I called my parents and Chuck. We went to the nearest hospital to our house. Chuck had called my dear friend,Traci, who actually beat us to the hospital! After a quick visit in the ER we went home, feeling relieved that is was “just a febrile(fever) seizure”, very common. Good chance we would never see another one.
Here we are a year later. No longer novices but as an emergency room doctor recently referred to us “road tested”. Tomorrow Gabriel will begin an extended assessment period (3 to 4 weeks minimum) at a preschool with our local school district. This assessment will give us a clear understanding of what developmental services will be made available to Gabriel.There is a good chance he will qualify to stay in the preschool program and recieve services that way. I am excited, nervous, happy and sad all at the same time. I know he is going to do well there. We went and visited last week. It is clearly a great program. He clearly loved it, went right into the classroom and started to play. It is overwhelming how grateful I am to be in an area with amazing schools and fantastic resources. As glad as I am for the resources, I can’t help be take a moment and grieve that we need them. A year ago Gabriel was functioning right at age level in physical accomplishments (running, jumping, using utensils) and way above on cognitive thinking. He continues to develop and learn but he is still relearning thing like how to walk up stairs alternating feet and although he still learns new concepts quickly, he has a difficult time reporting or articulating them. I am also sad because it means Gabriel will not be at the amazing school I teach at. Before he was born I imagined him graduating from Discovery Ark Preschool. It is ok that our path is changing. I am reminded of my devotional book “A different dream for my child”. Tomorrow the dream gets to officially change….who will his new friends be? what new things will he learn? how will our family be better because of this opportunity? Please pray for us as we take the next step in our adventure tomorrow.